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Annual Fish Fry like a Purdue Ag Family Reunion

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The Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association’s annual Fish Fry returns for a tenth year to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday February 2nd.

“This event is very well known for happening rain or shine or snow, or anything like that. It’s more reliable than the postal service,” says Danica Kirkpatrick from Purdue.

She tells HAT tickets are still available for the event which draws nearly 2,000 every year because it’s like a big family reunion for agriculture.

“Not only are there leaders in the industry, we have members of the general assembly, members from the U.S. Congress and lots of folks who come. But really this event is to bring alumni and people invested in agriculture together to celebrate Purdue University and the contributions that College of Agriculture makes.”

Kirkpatrick says tickets are available by calling the ag alumni office at 765-494-8593. Tickets are $25 each and will not be sold at the door, but when you reserve tickets by phone even just a couple of days before the event they will be made available at will call at the Marsh Blue Ribbon Pavilion.

The Purdue Ag Forecast at 9:30 precedes the fish fry that morning. It will be held in the fairgrounds’ Grand Hall and is entitled ‘Balancing Act: Meeting the Growing Demands for Food, Enhanced Animal Well-being and Consumer Trust.’

“We’ve got some great new faculty in this area at Purdue,” Kirkpatrick says. “Dr. Candace Croney (Purdue University associate professor of animal sciences) and Dr. Nicole Olynk Widmar, (assistant professor of agricultural economics) and also Jeremy Marchant-Forde (research animal scientist in the Purdue-based Livestock Behavior Research Unit of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.) These faculty members are going to be discussing how we balance these needs from the consumers as well as the needs that we need to meet to feed a hungry world.”

Croney says, “Far too often discussions about animal well-being are political, and they can erode quickly. If we’re not objective in our discussions, then we polarize ourselves by pulling people farther apart. We want to help clarify what the conversation should be so that all sides are not just competing for sound bites on the newscasts.”

The public’s increasing desire to know where their food comes from and how it is produced must be part of that discussion, Croney said. She added, however, that pressure from the public should not be the sole or primary impetus for changes in production practices. “Doing the right thing should be the driving factor for our practices and policies,” she said.

“I reject the notion that we can’t do right by both animals and people,” she says in an article in the current edition of Purdue Agricultures magazine. The article, which explores how Purdue is researching issues connected to animal well-being, is available online.

Olynk Widmar will present research on concerns that consumers say they have about animal well-being. Marchant-Forde will talk about what makes animal welfare issues, particularly sow housing, so complicated and often difficult to resolve.

The Ag Forecast is free and open to the public.

At the Fish Fry, which starts at 11:30 AM, the featured speaker is Steve Inskeep, National Public Radio “Morning Edition” host. He is a native of Carmel.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Fish-fry-and-ag-forecast-2013.mp3|titles=Fish fry and ag forecast 2013]